DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas launched four Institutes of Research Excellence, bringing together a critical mass of knowledge and faculty collaborating on projects designed to create a stronger platform for interdisciplinary research and partnerships with industry to create solutions and further contribute to the North Texas region's economic growth.
"These institutes build on areas where our faculty are already well-known experts and are making important contributions through their solutions-based research," UNT President Neal Smatresk said. "With these institutes, we are creating a stronger pipeline to bring our faculty expertise to industry and the public – and to make important advances in everything from energy to health."
Tom McCoy, UNT vice president of research and economic development, said the institutes provide UNT with greater opportunities to increase its reach and impact through research, establish more industry partnerships and create solutions that benefit the greater good.
"Our faculty are conducting innovative research and making important discoveries that can improve lives and make industries stronger," McCoy said. "By fostering more collaborative, interdisciplinary research and creating a stronger infrastructure for the transfer of knowledge, these institutes bring the power of UNT's research to the marketplace."
The institutes are:
- Advanced Environmental Research Institute, led by Samuel F. Atkinson, Regents Professor of biology. The institute will foster, facilitate and conduct interdisciplinary basic and theoretical environmental research that provides an understanding of how human actions impact the environment, and then use that knowledge to suggest scientific, engineering, policy and/or educational solutions to real-world environmental problems.
- Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes Institute, led by Rajiv Mishra, Distinguished Research Professor of materials science and engineering. The institute brings together a diverse group of faculty members who are focused on structural materials, functional materials, computational tools and advanced manufacturing processes. The strength of the institute's members lies in designing high-performance materials for the aerospace, automotive and energy sectors.
- BioDiscovery Institute, led by Richard Dixon, Distinguished Research Professor of biology. The institute delivers research solutions to underpin the utilization of plants for production of biopolymers, new construction materials, bioactive small molecules with applications in both agriculture and healthcare, and biofuels. The institute operates through a pipeline linking sustainable plant production platforms, metabolic engineering and the development of new materials.
- Logistics Systems Institute, led by Terrance Pohlen, associate professor of logistics and director of UNT's Center for Logistics Education and Research. The institute's multidisciplinary team provides the capability to develop effective solutions to complex problems confronting industry and government. The research team conducts ongoing research in a wide array of areas related to logistics and transportation ranging from the modeling and simulation of logistics systems, transportation planning and management, the application of geographic information systems, economic impact studies, site selection, vehicle routing, technology development and application, and the engineering of responsive and sustainable systems.
For more information about research institutes at UNT, visit http://www.research.unt.edu/institutes.